It seems to me that women typically experience shame about two things~
their bodies and their homes.
… What people are craving isn’t perfection.
People aren’t longing to be impressed;
they’re longing to feel like they’re home.
If you create a space full of love and character and creativity and soul,
they’ll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude and rest,
no matter how small,
no matter how undone,
no matter how odd.
…it isn’t about perfection, and it isn’t about performance.
You’ll miss the richest moments in life—
the sacred moments when we feel God’s grace and presence
through the actual faces and hands of the people we love—
if you’re too scared or too ashamed to open the door.
~Shauna Niequist, Bread & Wine, p109~
Home and body. Yes. These are definitely the two places where I feel most tempted to adhere to unrealistic standards. Where I grasp for perfection. Where I give in too easily to fears. Where I do not hold open hands. Where I look and focus. Where my eyes and heart are distracted.
I don’t want to miss the sacred moments because I am navel-gazing.
I don’t want to miss out on how much my children love to snuggle me because I’m soft instead of flat.
I don’t want to miss out on how much joy a messy, lived-in home brings my family & friends because I worry it won’t look well-cared-for enough.
I don’t want to miss out on sharing my home.
I don’t want to miss out on sharing my body.
I want to open my home with wild abandon at a moment’s notice and not worry about what others think of me because of what my home does or doesn’t look like.
I want to relinquish my fears, giving my body with joyful recklessness to my husband without worrying that he will be bothered by the increase of grey hairs, wrinkles, spider veins, or softly thickening rolls.
I want to use my home and my body in ways that please God and glorify Him, rather than worry about whether we look like the moms and homes in ads or magazines.
My home is an extension of my body.
My body is another type of home.
They are very connected.
Not only was my body the first home of thirteen children,
I want my body to still feel like home to my family.
I want my embrace to feel like home to my children and my husband.
Sometimes I just have to admit to my husband, I don’t feel at home in my own skin.
But the thing is, it is more important that my body feels like home to my family than that I feel at home in it.
You know that feeling of rest, of haven, of comfort ~ that feeling you get when you are home?
That may be in the home of your parents, your childhood home, perhaps even a grandparent’s home.
That may be your current home, the home of your newlywed season, the home of your childbearing years.
I have the feeling we will feel that feeling in different places. Maybe in multiple places.
But I think I really feel most at home in the embrace of people I love.
When my mama lets me rest my head on her shoulder. She feels like home to me.
When my husband intertwines limbs with me and lets me rest my head on his chest. He feels like home to me.
When my children press their little bodies up against mine and snuggle into every nook and cranny and curve. They feel like home to me.
It isn’t about outward appearances.
It isn’t about perfection.
It isn’t about what the world thinks.
It is about feeling at home. It’s about others, not myself.
It’s about comfort and grace and being used up for the sake of life & joy.
I want to feel at home. In my house and in my own skin.
But more than that, I want others to feel at home. In my house and in my embrace.
I want to create a physical home that is a haven.
I want to use up my physical self for life and joy.
Ultimately, I wasn’t made for this world anyway.
My real home is heaven.
And I have generations on either side of me already there.
I can’t wait to be at home with them.